Every day, thousands of patients visit nurses and doctors in offices. The patients hope to solve a wide variety of ailments ranging from simple to serious. However, it can be how well-run a doctor’s office is that governs the patient experience rather than the quality and educational background of the medical personnel.
The good news is that many offices are run well. Some, however, are not, and these could put the practice at risk of complications that go past compromising patient safety. Here are a few questions that may determine the shape of an office.
How is morale?
A badly run office can lead to employees who are stressed, frustrated and burnt out. Turnover may be high, and errors by nurses and others might proliferate. These errors could even put some of the employees’ medical licenses at risk.
Who is responsible for solving administrative issues?
Issues such as billing, marketing and appointments are administrative, and knowledgeable staff should handle them. If nurses and doctors are the ones who have to constantly step in to solve these issues, that is a sign of something not working in the office. It also distracts medical personnel, taking their focus off the patients who need help. Ideally, a physician or group practice would employ at least one go-to person in charge of all administrative matters. It is also a good idea to have a lawyer at the ready should an issue such as a lawsuit or fraud accusation arise. That way, there is no need to scramble for an attorney in a situation where there is a lot of stress and little time.
How efficient is appointment scheduling?
Many medical issues are urgent. For example, skin cancer is something that can often be diagnosed quickly, but what happens when a patient, even a longtime patient, cannot get in for two months? Doctors’ offices should strive to see patients in a prompt fashion.